CADD project named semifinalist for international award
ITD’s ambitious project to upgrade an antiquated – and sometimes disjointed – computer aided drafting and design (CADD) system statewide emerged as a semifinalist in international competition this spring.
The project to standardize CADD software and improve workstations throughout the department was in competition for the 2008 BE (Bentley Engineering) Awards of Excellence. The awards were announced at a May 29 ceremony that were part of the three-day international Bentley conference in Baltimore.
Ray Oldham, who organized and guided ITD’s project, attended the conference along with Monica Crider and Chris Derbidge who works in Design. ITD’s entry was in the special category of Developing the Infrastructure Workplace, competing with other projects from throughout the world.
Gresham, Smith and Partners won the award for developing Nissan America’s Corporate Facility in Franklin, Tenn. The workforce award was one of about 20 presented during the ceremony, Oldham said.
ITD first proposed the major CADD upgrade in 2003 when it became a Legislative decision unit. Work on the major upgrade gained momentum nearly two years later when it became part of the TIP program (Technology Investment Program) and received initial funds of $475,000.
The department had been using the same design/drafting software since 1983 and hadn’t upgraded the existing software for six years. As a result, ITD fell behind industry standards, and private firms and consultants had to downgrade their projects to ensure compatibility.
Most other state transportation departments, private-sector designers and consulting firms were using the Bentley package as a standard design system. ITD followed suit and began the complicated upgrade in 2006.
As first proposed, the major upgrade was planned to take two phases, the first of which was a workflow study that included on-site interviews in each district and at Headquarters. The second phase, which began in July 2006 included software configuration and completion of ITD’s CADD standards, followed by installation and detailed statewide training.
The implementation and training phase was completed early this year. In addition to ensuring ITD work is compatible with outside partners, the upgrade also enabled the department to implement online bidding, review and archiving.
Bentley is a world leader in providing comprehensive software solutions for the “infrastructure lifecycle.” The corporation is committed to “the vital role that infrastructure must play both in sustaining society and in sustaining the environment.”
The global company offers applications that help engineers, architects, contractors, governments, institutions, utilities and owner-operators design, build and operate more productively, collaborate more globally and deliver infrastructure assets that perform more sustainably.
It has more than 2,800 “colleagues” in more than 50 offices worldwide and annual revenues surpassing $450 million. It has invested more than $1 billion in research, development and acquisitions since 1993.